chinatownIn the mid-19th century, Cantonese immigrants to Philadelphia opened laundries and restaurants in an area in close proximity to Philadelphia’s commercial wharves. This lead to the start of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. The first business was a laundry owned by Lee Fong at 913 Race Street; it opened in 1871. In the following years, Chinatown consisted of ethnic Chinese businesses clustered around the 900 block of Race Street. Before the mid-1960s it consisted of several restaurants and one grocery store.

In the mid-1960s large numbers of families began moving to Chinatown. During various periods of urban renewal, starting in the 1960s, portions of Chinatown were razed for the construction of the Vine Street Expressway and the Philadelphia Convention Center. The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation was formed in 1968. This gave community and business leaders more say in matters of local development.

In years leading up to 1998, businesses catering to other immigrants from East Asian countries, like Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, opened in Chinatown

Chinatown Boundaries

Chinatown boundaries, for real estate purposes, are Market Street to the South, Vine Street to the North, Broad Street to the West, and 6th Street to the East.

School information:

  • General George A. McCall: School for grades K-8 a
  • Horace Furness High School or Benjamin Franklin High School